What a crock: Reasons for not releasing photos

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 34

shield-105499_1280After Congress viewed hundreds of new images from Iraqi prisons, about 1,800 images shown for two seconds each, the New York Times published anarticle covering some of the responses from our representatives and their reasons for probably suppressing these images or shielding them from the public.

In the understatement of the day, representative Trent Franks (R-Arizona) said that he was particularly offended by a photograph of a prisoner sodomizing himself with a banana. Mr. Franks comment was that; “My conclusion is that that was probably coerced somehow.” Gee, how astute.

Proving that “military intelligence” is truly an oxymoron, the Times reported the following: “The explicit nature of the photographs left the lawmakers deeply conflicted over whether the images should be made public. Some who previously favored a public release said they had changed their minds and were swayed by remarks from military personnel that to do so would violate the prisoners’ right to privacy and protection from humiliation.”

Wow, the prisoner’s “right to privacy and protection from humiliation” has already been violated. What more could we do except expose these pictures to their family, friends, and neighbors? And aren’t we told that that was the purpose of taking the pictures in the first place, to use the photos to intimidate other prisoners with “this could happen to you” and to threaten them with the embarrassment of releasing these images in their communities?

Besides that, the pictures I’ve seen generally show the mistreated prisoners with sacks or women’s underwear over their heads and/or otherwise not showing their faces making it difficult to identify individuals anyway. And many of the photos we’ve seen have been doctored to “blur out” their genitals to, I suppose, protect our American sensibilities. We could do the same with their faces, couldn’t we? There doesn’t have to be any further embarrassment or violation of the “right to privacy” for mistreatment that has already occurred and been recorded.

The whole thing is beginning to go from shock and horror to bordering on the ridiculous and the absolutely sick. Whatever we do, it just seems to further the idea of our moral decadence and callousness.

Anyone who watches television must have some inkling and have some conflicted feelings about our claim to the moral high ground. We’ve got 24/7 tabloid news services covering everything from mothers killing their children and pedophile priests to daily car chases, kidnappings, rape, murder and other sins.

I know several people who will not look at the first set of pictures that were somehow released. Evidently, these people are either shocked enough by the words describing what happened or they belong to a class that simply turns its back on anything that upsets or challenges their belief that we are the good guys. Unfortunately, the latter are usually the same people who, by their silence, condone what’s happening.

What really surprises me personally is the fact that it seems to take pictures to horrify Americans. Without these pictures we do not seem capable of recognizing or visualizing what happens to innocent people when we bomb their cities, use cluster bombs and depleted uranium, run tanks through their houses, or shoot people because our youngsters find themselves in a situation where they don’t speak the language and cannot distinguish between the innocent and the enemy – a situation similar to what we faced in Viet Nam – and a situation where they should never have found themselves in the first place because all of the reasons for invading Iraq were nothing but a pack of lies.

Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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